Biden says China and Russia skipping the summit will lessen their influence

President BidenJoe Biden Biden Administration Targets Methane Emissions McConnell Criticizes Possible Payments to Separated Migrant Families Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t think their vote is accurately counted MORE on Tuesday he rebuked China and Russia for not participating in person at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, arguing that it would weaken their global influence.

“I think it was a big mistake, frankly, for China,” Biden told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, before leaving the summit after two days of meetings.

“The rest of the world will look at China and say, what added value are they providing? And they have lost the ability to influence people around the world and everyone here at COP, ”Biden said, referring to the COP26 climate conference. “In the same way, I would say, with regard to Russia.”

Later, Biden suggested that China’s lack of involvement would hurt Chinese President Xi Jinping’s effort to expand his influence.

“The fact that China is trying to understandably reassert a new role in the world as a world leader, without showing up? Let’s go. The most important thing that has caught the world’s attention is the weather, everywhere, ”said Biden. “It is a gigantic problem and they have left. How can you do that and claim to have a mantle of leadership? ”.

“Their tundra is burning,” Biden said of the Russian president. Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by the American Petroleum Institute – Glasgow Summit Begins Where are the Biden and Merkel sanctions against Putin’s gas weapon? Climate summit delegates highlight the inequity of the climate crisis MORE. “The tundra is literally on fire. He has serious weather problems and says nothing about willingness to do anything. ”

Both Xi and Putin declined to attend the summit, citing the coronavirus pandemic. Putin addressed the conference with a pre-recorded video message on Tuesday ahead of a meeting on limiting deforestation, while Xi addressed the summit only in a written statement.

Throughout his two days at the summit, Biden sought to reassert America’s leadership on climate change and demand collective global action to address the threat, arguing that nations have a small window to act and that the next decade it would be decisive.

“We appeared. We appeared. And by introducing ourselves we have had a profound impact on how I think the rest of the world views America in this leadership role, “Biden said during the press conference.

He tried to appease world leaders skeptical about America’s reliability, after four years during which the former President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe, Youngkin hold final campaign rallies ahead of tight Virginia gubernatorial race Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t think their vote is accurately counted overnight Defense and National Security: The Sub-Deal Showdown intensifies MORE he downplayed the threat of climate change and pulled out of the landmark Paris accord. Biden rejoined that agreement upon taking office, a move he highlighted during their meetings.

Biden used Tuesday’s press conference to review what he described as the summit’s top achievements. He promoted the new methane rules announced by his administration and the commitment of dozens of nations to curb methane emissions.

“I can’t think of two days where more has been accomplished in terms of climate than these two days,” Biden said.

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